It would be great if your suppliers were to supply a service to you for free. Well it is not as improbable as you might think! It is becoming more common for startup companies to ask their key suppliers to accept payment in shares. This would allow the start up to reduce its liabilities at a shot and raise Investment funds with the minimum of effort. A great idea… or is it??
Did you know that there are over 20 million enterprises currently operating across Europe? 99% of these are small businesses (SMEs). While an SME is classed as having 250 occupied personnel or less, the vast majority (92%) are considered ‘micro’ enterprises with less than 10 members of staff .
As the failure of the Bank of England’s Funding for Lending scheme becomes widely accepted with the announcement that net lending fell by £810m in the final quarter of last year, small businesses are increasingly looking to the alternative finance market instead. The monopoly of small business finance enjoyed by banks for so long is beginning to come into question and the Government can’t afford to become complacent in its efforts to address the issue.
We live in a truly global economy, interdependent and competitive in almost equal measure. The established order that Britain historically led has changed profoundly and is still changing at an astonishing pace, with the developing world starting to grow exponentially. Since 2000, emerging markets have accounted for 70% of all GDP growth and according to renowned economist, Jim O’Neil, by 2040-50 the BRIC economies – Brazil, Russia, India and China – will overtake the G7 in combined GDP.
The first week of April marks the close of the 2014/15 tax year, which means it’s time to think about potential changes you could make to improve your business over the next 12 months.
Financial services brands face unique marketing challenges of a different nature to other industries. New regulations and an ever-changing landscape mean a richer, deeper understanding of the marketplace and customers is crucial, especially if businesses are to benefit from emerging opportunities ahead of their competitors.
Cash flow management remains a key way for businesses to maximise profits and efficiency, and there are a number of approaches that businesses can employ to optimise their working capital.
As the failure of the Bank of England’s Funding for Lending scheme becomes widely accepted with the announcement that net lending fell by £810m in the final quarter of last year, small businesses are increasingly looking to the alternative finance market instead. The monopoly of small business finance enjoyed by banks for so long is beginning to come into question and the Government can’t afford to become complacent in its efforts to address the issue
As 2015 progresses, increasing numbers of small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) are getting closer to their automatic enrolment staging date, where they will be required to put workers – who meet certain criteria – into a workplace pension scheme. Hundreds of thousands of small employers across the UK will have started receiving letters from the Pensions Regulator (TPR) telling them of their automatic enrolment duties as an employer.
Getting the timing right is absolutely crucial when it comes to running a successful start-up. While most business plans will include forecasts for product milestones, market penetration, and expenditure, based on the overarching questions of “What resources do we have?” and “How do we use them?” it’s still necessary for this plan to also include a marker for external funding.
As anyone that has been through the experience will admit, running a small business demands blood, sweat and tears. Every day is a careful balancing act of sales, solvency and processes, all in an often unpredictable bid for growth. It takes hard graft, an understanding of the processes involved in getting an idea of the ground – and crucially, how to keep it running. As a result, small business owners have to be laser-focused on the bottom line in order to keep their heads above water.
Regrettably, from time to time SMEs may encounter customers who are not able or willing to pay debts. Whilst to some extent this is an occupational hazard, there are ways to minimise the risk of this happening and at least ensure you have the processes in place to make debt recovery easier, should it come to that.